Global Premium Cigars – 1502 Nicaragua
Early in my career here at Casas Fumando, I had the opportunity of reviewing the 1502 Ruby and 1502 Black Gold by Global Premium Cigars. While the photos were horrendous, I found the 1502 Black Gold to be a very enjoyable evening smoke, however, the 1502 Ruby lacked in complexity and was a bit heavy on the spice. Since then, I have revisited the Ruby line, and either the Ruby has developed in time or my palate was just off during my first go around because I found the Ruby to be just as good, yet different, than the Black Gold. Well, enough with the past. Today, I will be featuring the fourth line under the 1502 brand, following the Ruby, Black Gold, and Emerald, the 1502 Nicaragua!
The 1502 Nicaragua pays tribute to the home country of Enrique Sanchez, Founder and CEO of Global Premium Cigars, in both name and blend. This Nicaraguan puro utilizes tobaccos from the four main tobacco growing regions of Nicaragua – Esteli, Condega, Jalapa, and Ometepe. Produced at Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua, the Nicaragua is available in a single robusto (5 by 50) vitola and sold in boxes of 30. Distribution of the 1502 brand is manged by the House of Emilio led by the one and only Gary Griffith, who handles distribution for well know “boutique” companies such as Ezra Zion and Nomad Cigar Co.
Samples Provided by House of Emilio
Size: 5 by 50
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
The 1502 Nicaragua is draped in a medium tan leaf that is full of character and has a reddish or rust-like hue. Small veins are webbed all over the leaf, a few medium veins, and some bumps are easily seen. However, to the touch, the wrapper feels velvety smooth. A medium aroma is found on the wrapper with a natural tobacco sweetness and muskiness. The “cigar lock” foot shows off notes of chocolate and wet earth.
The double-cap gets the job done. A very shallow cut opens up a perfect soft draw bringing forth thick notes of graham cracker, chocolate, cedar, and cherry. While I did not pick up much spice in terms of flavor, my lips are left with a tingle and a slight itch is felt in the back of my throat.
Putting a soft flame to the foot of the cigar, tons of oils begin to seep out of the leaf. Full, rich flavors are first to greet my palate. After a few minutes, the richness tones down allowing cedar and toasted notes through. A natural tobacco sweetness is providing a nice balance to the flavors. The smoke is thick in the mouth coating all surfaces. I am not finding as much spice as expected, but a black pepper flavor lingers on the palate, while cedar and pepper are showcased on the retrohale. Even with the a couple touch-ups during the first third and a flaky looking ash, the ash still held well.
Transitioning into the second third of the 1502 Nicaragua, the rich cedar is carrying the cigar along with a creamy mouth feel. Earthy/leather notes have arrived and the pepper spice is picking up in terms of flavor and heat. Smoke production is rocking, but the burn continues to struggle. So far the strength is sitting in the medium range, but, as I retrohale the smoke more often, I am beginning to feel a slight nicotine kick. In the middle of the cigar, a newly found dusty cocoa has join in, but mainly on the finish.
As the cigars winds down, I am finding more toasted notes and pepper. The smoke continues to be rich and a small sip of water is necessary to reset the palate every few puff. The natural tobacco sweetness has diminished and a vanilla bean flavor surprises me just before I am about to put the cigar to rest. The vanilla flavors is similar to that which you might find on the nose of a spiced rum.
The soft box-press on the 1502 Nicaragua robusto made this cigar seem smaller than it actually is. And being a fan of small ring gauge cigars, that is not a bad thing. The performance of the first sample I smoked was below par, requiring several touch-ups in each third and completely extinguishing at one point. However, I easily looked beyond the performance because of the exceptional flavors the 1502 Nicaragua delivered. And I am happy to report the same burn issues were not experienced in the second sample. Between the rich cedar, complimented by a medium spice and natural tobacco sweetness, full flavors, full body, and medium-high strength, this cigar hit my palate just right. For a price of $6.50, the 1502 Nicaragua is one of my favorite smokes this year!